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The Article “Towards a Sociology of Forced Migration and Social Transformation” by Stephen Castles Essay

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Updated: Feb 7th, 2022

Summary

In this article, Castles discusses the ever-increasing issue of forced migration, which includes “asylum seekers, internal displacement, and development-induced displacement” (13). Specifically, the author is concerned with why sociologists should develop empirical research and analysis on this issue as part of the theoretical understanding of modern society. According to the author, while the study on forced migration is associated with research on economic migration, it has independent conceptual issues, methodological problems, and research topics. In the article, the author questions the classical sociological models and theories that have been hitherto used based on the assumption that national societies are relatively autonomous.

Analysis

The main point that the author raises in this article is that there is a need for sociologists to develop empirical research and analysis on forced migration in the quest of understanding this issue in the context of contemporary societies. According to the author, forced migration should be analyzed and understood as a social process “in which human agency and social networks play a major part” (Castles 13). This aspect will make the sociology of forced migration an interdisciplinary and transnational undertaking.

Theoretical issues that come up in this article include the classical theories on migration and globalization. The world has become interconnected and thus theories of migration should be understood within specific contexts as social processes that occur in response to some societal pressures, such as political persecution and other related issues.

The question that this reading raises is why are governments afraid of losing state control within the context of forced migration? What are some of the challenges that forced migration presents to governments? I agree with the author’s argument that forced migration should be studied as a social process, as opposed to being analyzed within the larger context of economic migration theories. This reading challenges other readings with information arguing that forced migration should be studied based on sociological approaches that assume that national societies are relatively autonomous. Such approaches overlook the role of human agency and social networks in a globalized world whereby nations are becoming one global village.

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"The Article "Towards a Sociology of Forced Migration and Social Transformation" by Stephen Castles." IvyPanda, 7 Feb. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/the-article-towards-a-sociology-of-forced-migration-and-social-transformation-by-stephen-castles/.

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IvyPanda. "The Article "Towards a Sociology of Forced Migration and Social Transformation" by Stephen Castles." February 7, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-article-towards-a-sociology-of-forced-migration-and-social-transformation-by-stephen-castles/.

References

IvyPanda. 2022. "The Article "Towards a Sociology of Forced Migration and Social Transformation" by Stephen Castles." February 7, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-article-towards-a-sociology-of-forced-migration-and-social-transformation-by-stephen-castles/.

References

IvyPanda. (2022) 'The Article "Towards a Sociology of Forced Migration and Social Transformation" by Stephen Castles'. 7 February.

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